Davorin Popović is one of the greatest singers that the former Yugoslavia produced. If he were alive, he would have celebrated his 76th birthday today.
He was born on September 23, 1946 in Sarajevo. He died of pancreatic cancer on June 18, 2001 in his hometown. He lived and worked in Sarajevo all his life. Without much movement and desire for it. Many will say later that with him and his Indexes, Sarajevo really became a city for the first time. Indexes were one of the first more meaningful bands in our former country, i.e. among the first whose songs were not mere translations of what was heard and caught on Radio Luxembourg in those days.
Amazingly, the band only recorded three albums, but they had a handful of singles as well as performances at pop music festivals. And Davorin had three solo albums. However, although we primarily remember them as a band that created pop music, and with even later slips into flirting with folk music, Indexes began as a progressive band, with harmonies and magpie skills that they could take on everyone on the world stage. The band was founded by Ismet Arnautalić and Šefko Akšamija, excellent musicians with whom everyone wanted to play at the time, so even Kornelije Kovač was a member of the band for a short time. Such excellent musicians also needed an outstanding singer, and that’s exactly what Popović was. So good that he even had the nickname “The Singer”. That’s what he called himself. He also had the other one, Pimpek, cheeky enough to be rock and roll, indigenous enough not to be something picked up from the west.
The golden age of progressive and avant-garde rock’n’roll was the first years of the seventies, when the band created the 10-minute “Somewhere at the end in a lull”, as well as “Plimu”, “Da sam ja nekto” and many others. Since 1974, the band’s breakthrough into the more popular market has been happening, as has the collaboration with Đorđe Novković and the Pro Arte lineup. Multi-minute songs remained in history, collaborations with big stars of Yugoslavia came, platinum editions, as well as big tours, first in Yugoslavia, but also in the USSR. In that period, however, the biggest hits will come, that is, the biggest, by which we probably all remember them. “She threw everything down the river”, a song that was written in 1975, but which will unite at least four subsequent generations who grew up in this area, if not more.
Nevertheless, if one song should sublimate the entire creation of this band and the performance of this great singer, then it is the song “Dream”, which begins dreamily and melancholic with stanzas, as well as Davorin Popović’s vocals, which hover over the song like a nightingale, to a completely different song started in the chorus, which they can listen to and sing at various jobs and work actions of that time. Two opposite sexes in one song.
Davorin Popović’s musical career can hardly be viewed without Index, because everything he did, he did with them. The first solo album “Every love is the same (except the real one)” was released in the second half of 1975. It was recorded with Indexes, and promoted with a big concert on February 21, 1976 in Skenderija. Popović was accompanied at the concert by Indexes and keyboardist Nenad Jurin. At the festival “Your hit of the season” in 1976, Davorin Popović won the award for the best interpretation for the song “Moja Hana”. And at that festival he performed with Indexes.
Popović did not leave Sarajevo during the war, which is why various evil people spread false stories about him. However, there is only one truth, and that is that Popović and Indexi performed in Belgrade in 1996, as the first band from the republics of former Yugoslavia after the war. At three sold-out performances, their guests were Neša Galija, Čobi, Kornelije Kovač, and they were announced by Dušan Prelović Prele. A diverse group of people, each with their own view on the wars of the 1990s.
He was a great fighter for the reconciliation of once fraternal and later warring nations. Popović said in an interview: “I know that this daily politics does not advocate sincere reconciliation, but I advocate it with all my might.”
He gave his last concert in May, already seriously ill, and died on June 18. After his death, the band decided not to play anymore. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the “Davorin” award was established, which is awarded to the most successful musicians.
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